Friday, December 15, 2017

Friday, December 15, 2017, Jacob Stulberg


Thanks again to Frannie for bailing me out yesterday! It was a long day of meetings at work, then parties in the evening, then baking cookies for more parties today. It's a tough stretch at work. Just one more week of parties, though, then a week off. Ahhh...

So anyway, today Mr. Stulberg serves up a larger-than-life 16x15 simply chock-full of challenge and reward. I can't help myself but get right to my favorite entry - one of my favorites of the year! - 55A: It has a little bow at one end (MODELSHIP). So great. And speaking of good clues, I feel like I've seen something very similar to 11D: F note? (SEEME) before, but I confidently entered "b flat" and was loath to take it out. Wouldn't that have been something?


The two long Downs - GLACIALDRIFT (7D: Rock moved by ice) and MIRRORSHADES (21D: Reflective pair) were similar in that I immediately tried to enter much longer answers into each of them. "GLACIAL erratic" for the first, and "MIRRORed sunglasses" in the second. Frannie told me she tried to enter "GLACIAL till." We were both thinking more specifically about the rock, instead of more generally about the phenomenon. But it's a perfect kind of clue that can be interpreted in different ways. See also: "41D: Like a good plot" (ARABLE), 40D: Sticky food? (KEBABS) (I put in Kitkat off the initial K), "1A: Not true" (ATANANGLE) (A-), and "17A: One giving you a hand? (DEALER). Others like "31D: One's turn at the Olympics?" (AXEL) and "36D: What may be salted away for a special occasion?" (CUREDHAM) are also good, but they're trying a little too hard, maybe.

I liked the stepped 13-, 14-, and 13-letter answers running through the middle, especially that central SEXANDVIOLENCE (35A: Family-unfriendly fare). Unexpected, but I guess anything goes on the weekend.

The little corners of ATL, TAE, ILE, and PMS are not great, but there's so much that is good in here, I'm willing to accept a little MAL.

So far, so good on The Turn this week. I'm already looking forward to tomorrow's!

- Horace


  1. 19:40
    I loved this puzzle. I was a bit nervous when I opened it and saw all that white space on a Friday (only 32 black squares in an extra-large grid). But it was as smooth for me as the day is long. One rewarding find after another. Nothing felt "Friday-forced" like I have experienced in previous puzzles (except for the unfortunate ARECAPALM). Only thing I had to take back was RAZOR, which turned out to be VESPA (fair enough).

    Maybe it helped that I was doing it at 2am.

    p.s. I'm glad F Note was not BFLAT. That would be a doozy even on a Saturday puzzle. Nice thinking, though.

    1. One second today! And I, too, had razor in first, just as I'm sure Mr. Stulberg hoped we would.

  2. 12:25 (FWOE)
    I had CaRA, and searched and searched until I found it and switched to an O, to get MODELSHIP as my reward! What an outstanding Friday. KEBABS gets the best clue of the day in my book, with that silly "sticky" adjective. I also really really loved the clue for ARABLE. So good. I was excited to enter ENTREPRENEURS entirely off of the clue, no crosses. It helped, but that silly A! Darn.

  3. 51:08 (FWOE)
    Great puzzle, but tough for me for some reason. I struggled through most of it, but everything eventually fell in save for the CORA/ARECAPALM cross, where I tried a "d" for no good reason. SEXANDVIOLENCE and METABOLICRATE are excellent in the middle. ADOGSTALE looks strange in the grid. I barely remember it from my reading of all of Twain's OEUVRE a few years ago; maybe I should re-read it.